Posted by: docdenbow | October 11, 2014

He Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins

These days we’re all slaves to technology. All of us. I mean, how many of us don’t own a smartphone or some kind of MP3 player? Every home has the ubiquitous microwave oven and flat screen TV. The thing is, are we any happier for it? Why do we constantly need to upgrade “things?” We upgrade or replace “things” before we need to. Up and down the country I’m willing to bet there are smartphones sitting neglected in drawers and cupboards because they are “old” models. Not because they don’t work, but because they are not the latest new one that’s packed with features that we are conned into thinking that we need.

cleanishI’m writing this on a laptop. Yeah, you probably guessed that, but did you stop to think about what kind of laptop Denbow uses? You may think that it’s a sleek new MacBook or a state of the art Sony, if you think that then you’re wrong. The laptop that I use is a six years old Lenovo X200. The speakers don’t work properly anymore and there is a load of insulation tape holding the screen in place after our dog Daisy got bored and decided to have a little chomp on the screen. Does it matter? No, it doesn’t matter. This laptop does exactly what I need it to do. It gets me on the interent and it has Microsoft Word so I can write things. Would a better, newer laptop do those things any better? Well, what do you think?

What I’m getting at is we live in a disposable society. Everything we own eventually gets chucked away, often before it needs to be. We replace our “treasures” thinking that we are spending our money to get something better. Very often we aren’t; all we are doing is indirectly lining the pockets of the admen and directly lining the pockets of major corporations. Does 6 gig of ram make Twitter anymore satisfying or Facebook more tolerable? Why do you want a mobile phone (and that’s what they are – telephones) with a 5 inch screen? Yeah, you get one not because you want one but because your mate Dave has one and you’d be thought of as a twit with your old HTC Desire S. We spend our lives acquiring and grabbing and wasting money and emotion buying stuff. Some people get a quasi sexual thrill over their latest purchases and I think it’s because they have nothing in their lives deep down.

A few years ago I saw a pseudo number plate on the back of some tasteless gross Jeep that said “he who dies with the most toys wins.”

Wins what?

Ciao for now,



  1. This is so true; in fact my friend and I were having a discussion about this just the other day.
    I use a second-hand, very ancient BlackBerry, that keeps falling to bits and has to have its battery pulled on a regular basis. But I can’t afford a new one and, to be frank, wouldn’t buy a new one anyway, because I can manage with it.
    Okay, my netbook is only 2 years old …..but it was a hard-won item. I saved up for ages for it.
    I cannot understand the people who have to have the latest thing, regardless of the condition or age of their current item.
    And as for the folk who queue up, often overnight, for the newest iphone …….. well they must have sad, empty lives.
    Maybe its an ‘age’ thing ?
    I was brought up to value everything … save for things…… I knew the value of money.
    But now, even very young children seem to have the latest gadget, whenever they want it. Perhaps parents ought to use the ‘NO’ word more often.
    A great article, Doc … nice to see you writing again. x

  2. Reblogged this on athenaminerva7 and commented:
    Very interesting. I know what you mean.

  3. thanks Doc,

    we been livin in the consumer society since Honda 50 first appeared. even your commentary is 20 years out of date although many do not question our slavery. What does an iphone 6 do that a 5 didn’t?… bend. I always think of the Shell (of all people) slogan about throwing things away – ‘…there is No away’

    There is so much wrong with human society, that the ability of comfortable people to sustain their lives via consumerism pales to insignificance. We are so lucky we didn’t happen to be born in a third world country or in Clacton.

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